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Posts: 2
I made a very difficult decision yesterday. I returned my dog of two years to the rescue he came from because I could no longer handle the stress of owning a 70 pound human aggressive Pit Bull. He was 2.5 years old when I adopted him and was in desperate need of obedience training due to his defiance and aggression that I was determined to correct. I did the best I could to help him overcome his behavior problems. I hired a trainer and tried several different training methods with the hopes of getting through to him. His obedience improved but the aggression... not so much. During the time he lived with me he has bitten three people, luckily none were seriously injured. He will sometimes lunge and snap at people we walk by on the street without being provoked, the people wouldn't even be looking at him or trying to touch him at all. Sometimes he would act friendly towards strangers and then once they got close he would completely change his attitude and snap at their hands or face. This happened when I took him to the vet for a skin allergy he had to grass. He had to be muzzled and vet wouldn't touch him. He is not safe around children, he sees babies as prey items. I found this out when my friends brought their two month old twins over to our house for a visit and if he hadn't been on a leash he would have gone after them like he would a small animal. The best I could do to maintain control was to keep him isolated from pretty much everyone besides myself and my ex fiancé. And then he decided to snarl and snap at my ex. My current significant other is scared to be around my dog, he isn't very knowledgeable about dogs and the fact that my dog is stranger aggressive completely turns him off. To be honest, I myself am scared to be around the dog sometimes especially now that I know he is willing to show aggression to my ex who loves and adores the dog. I have done everything I can to make his life as simple and stress free as possible and convey the message that he is the lowest ranking member of the pack. Even after all the time and effort spent training him he would still jump on me and try to nip at my face. The reason why I chose to give him up now is because my new job requires me to be away from home for 12 or more hours a day and I'm worried that him being left alone all the time like that would make his aggression worse. I'm scared he may decide to take his frustration out on me or my ex (we still own a house and live together but are both away from home for work). He is so big and intimidating, I'm just not willing to take the chance of being attacked or putting some other person at risk. I can't afford a lawsuit nor could I live with myself if my dog seriously injured or killed someone. I love Pit Bulls, I wanted so much to help him become a wonderful companion. My intention was to help the breed by adopting a rescue dog and training him into a good representative that would help set an example. I feel so stupid for picking a dog too difficult for my skill level. I have failed him and I feel like utter crap because I have yet to tell my ex about it who I know will be very upset. 

:-( :-( :-(


Posts: 306
I hope for some reason you are not feeling guilt because you surrendered an aggressive dog
. Even you were uncomfortable around and have said you attempted to provide obedience training. My next door neighbor has a pit bull and it was loose when I took my pug out for a walk the other day, it flew at my dog and I threw my dog up on a car to prepare to battle this pit bull. Thankfully the owner came out and tackled it, otherwise I would have shot it and I love animals. Regardless,whether or not inherited or learned behavior I see no reason to feel like utter crap you exhausted your resources and probably prevent eventual severe injury.

Posts: 2
I feel guilty because my ex loved the dog and I know the dog loved us, he just had issues I couldn't fix. We discussed this several times within the last two months and he dug his heels into the ground every time. He isn't one to give up on commitments, he is very admirable in that aspect, however according to the paperwork I am the dogs legal owner and the decision was mine to make. He may not understand why or how I could have given the dog back but I will do my best to explain to him that I did so out of concern for the safety of him, myself, and anyone else who comes into contact with the dog. I'm sad knowing the dog had to be returned to the rescue and he may never have the luxury of being in a home of his own again because not many people are willing to accept a human aggressive dog. He will be used to help rehabilitate other dogs to become more social within a pack setting since he does exceptionally well with other dogs. If he wasn't aggressive this wouldn't be happening :-(

Posts: 629
Good Evening, Dear Ariel,

I am sorry for you for having to make such a difficult decision when it is so very clear how much you care for this dog you wanted so much to rescue, love, and save. But Dear Lady, please do not feel guilt or sense of failure for your actions, nor should you, as you stated, feel stupid for choosing a dog outside of your skill level. You wanted to save this poor boy who clearly has a great deal of issues of his mind, and clearly, in those two years, you tried everything possible for him, from obedience training to loving him as much as possible, even being by his side when his actions suggested problems that could alienate him from others.

It is not failure in this case to return your pit bull; quite the contrary. In some cases, there are prospective companions who need specialized training and guidance. The treatments may be long term; they may be extensive. Dear Ariel, there are many experts in this field who, even by their own admission, may not be able to properly rehabilitate every prospective companion that comes to them. But, returning your buddy to the rescue from where he came gives him a much better chance to find that guidance he needs. Furthermore, Dear Ariel, it is clear that your dog, though not intentionally, was putting your safety, your fiancée's, and your loved ones', at risk. While it is clear you care very much for him, it is not right that you should have to be uncomfortable in your own home.

Dearest Ariel, if I also may say to you, I also believe that whatever journey this dog may take, I very much believe, that you gave him a good beginning to his healing, as you did show him that there are caring souls out there like yourself who can offer a life of love and loyalty which he may not have known before.  I am sure that will serve him well in his future.  

Take comfort in knowing that you made the right decision for everyone involved.

He will be fine, Dearest Ariel. As will you.

All is well with love,


Posts: 82
Dear Ariel,
 I am so sorry that you had to make that decision. I understand it all too well.
 I had to let go of my Nala on Aug 5, 2013. Because of aggression. She too was a Pit.
 I picked her out the day she was born. She went from one couch to another. No history of abuse or neglect. In fact, she was a very spoiled girl :)
She was only 3 years old when suddenly one night she bit me. I brushed it off because I thought maybe I scared her. I made excuses for her. Even though I had to go for stiches in my nose.
A month later, she bit my daughter's boyfriend. He also needed stiches.
She had become unpredicatable. I became afraid of her.
I did call a trainer after she bit me. But the bottom line was, the bond of trust was broken & like you, I couldn't risk a law suit or god forbid someone getting seriously injured.
I miss her so much & I have questioned my decision many times.
But I couldn't chance re-homing her.
I decided to put her down. I couldn't live with myself knowing she could hurt someone or that someone would adopt her & not show her the love she was used to getting.
Know you did the right thing. We loved them with everything we have but sometimes there are some things we can't fix.
Thinking of you !

Posts: 2
Thank you for this post. This has helped me through my grief. I, too just had to bring my leash aggressive and dog aggressive pit bull back to the rescue where I got him. He's just too dang strong and powerful to be giving me such a hard time. I've had him for six months and he went after another dog and bit one of my friends while we were removing him from this other dogs dog collar. No dog or person was severely injured but it was a serious fight. In light of his leash aggression and huge demand to drain his excited energy, I was exhausted. I cannot manage and supervise a dog 24/7. This is what was going to happen after that as I do not have fenced in yard. He was bullying me a bit too despite all my best efforts to establish myself as the alpha. He was disrespectful, and defiant and slightly psycho when corrected. He has a good side, a wonderful affectionate sweetheart. It's not that he's not wanted. Quite the contrary, I wanted to keep him very badly, but I can't handle this powerful dog and I'm not a dog expert. I did devote 6 hours a day at times to train him and socialize him. This was all in vain. I adopted him because I fell in love with him, I have place where I'm allowed to have him and I was willing to change my life and do the work. I feel stupid for getting a dog beyond my skill level too. I did research, I trained myself, I worked with trainers (who didn't help by the way) and I have failed him. He is misunderstood and has to have a trained owner, or someone with more skill than I. This situation was spiraling out of control, and could have been dangerous. I have made the right decision and he may even be helped, but the guilt is crushing. I needed them to evaluate him before re homing. I couldn't take to risk of re homing him myself when he's unpredictable. The rescue organization here is a decent facility and he was happy to see everyone there, which is a plus. Thank you for all the kind words on this forum. I've been crying ever since I left him.

Posts: 2
I completely agree with johnfitzgerald, his journey with you is something he may have never gotten with someone else. Bless you

Posts: 106
A work friend went thru this with his aggressive dog — they worked so hard to make it work with vets, trainers, behaviorists. The day the dog cornered his wife and went after her was too much.

Like you, he was bereft and full of conflicting emotions.

I am sure your dog benefitted from his time with you and you gave him a good start to build on.
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